From picking between two restaurants to picking between two job offers, there’s no one foolproof approach to making decisions. We’ve covered our fair share of decision-making hacks in the past: There’s the 37% rule to simplify your gut instincts, or creating a decision matrix in order to prioritize what you need to get done. But it’sSometimes, what you really need is an unbiased third party to tell you what to do.
Well, maybe “tell you what to do” is an oversimplification. Luckily, there are a range of decision-maker apps to help you organize and clarify your own reasoning. The following apps are all great tools to help you make a decision in all sorts of situations. Still, they might not give you the decision you want to see. But if you do disagree with the choice presented by any of these apps, well, maybe that disagreement is what uncovers your true choice.
For when you need to spin a wheel
Random Decision Maker (Androids) / TinyDecisions (iOS)
Like the names of these apps suggest, this style of decision-making is basically a fancy coin toss. These are great tools to take the pressure of choosing between two shirts or what you and your partner should eat for dinner. You can input options to make your own wheel, generate random numbers, and a number of other tools to let chance decide your fate.
Download Random Decision Maker on Google Play here. Download Tiny Decisions on the App Store here.
For when you need to organize high-level decisions
Protagonist: Decision Making (iOS)
This decision-making app resembles a project management tool, and it was clearly made with complex decisions in mind (eg, hiring an employee or buying a car).
The framework allows you to enter different tiers of criteria and then assure each factor is given proper weight by visualizing it. The visualization is by far the greatest feature, as it helps you clarify and assign priority when you’re juggling a bunch of different factors in one decision. Another asset is that you can share and loop others into your process (again—this one looks like a project management tool).
Download Protagonist on the App Store here or use the web version here. (Note: There’s a slight downside in that you need to create a free account in order to use Protagonist.)
For when you’re overwhelmed with too much criteria
Decision Crafting (Androids) / Ultimate Choice (iOS)
Sometimes the hardest aspect of making a decision is sorting through all the possible upsides and downsides. This is the style of app best-suited to help you organize your thinking when you’re struggling to looks at a number of different factors objectively.
After you add as many options and criteria as you want, you can assign a number rating to those factors. When you’re ready, the app will do the math for you and offer a decision based on your ratings.
Download Decision Crafting on Google Play here. Download Definitive Choice on the App Store here.
For when you need to weigh pros and cons
Pros & Cons (Androids) / Pros-Cons (iOS)
Who doesn’t love a crisp pros and cons list? These are simple, straightforward tools to weigh decisions (more straightforward than the multi-criteria apps listed in the section above). You can assign a number value to different upsides and downsides, so that the apps can help you visualize whether or not the pros are beating out the cons. Pen and paper get messy, so these tools help you more clearly weigh all the right things in your decision-making struggle.
Download Pros & Cons on Google Play here. Download Pros-Cons on the App Store here.